Oral Answers to Questions — Motorway Programme (Yorkshire)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th May 1975.

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Photo of Mr Frank Hooley Mr Frank Hooley , Sheffield, Heeley 12:00 am, 7th May 1975

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what reappraisal has been made of the motorway construction programme in Yorkshire in the light of the current economic situation.

Photo of Mr Neil Carmichael Mr Neil Carmichael , Glasgow Kelvingrove

The latest cuts in public spending may cause some delay in the road programme as a whole, but our basic road strategy for the Yorkshire area remains unchanged.

Photo of Mr Frank Hooley Mr Frank Hooley , Sheffield, Heeley

Is my hon. Friend aware that he can take the M18 and the M62 right across the North Sea for all I care? Does he agree that the present economic crisis is a splendid opportunity to expunge, cancel and totally obliterate any proposal to push a motorway through the Peak District National Park?

Photo of Mr Neil Carmichael Mr Neil Carmichael , Glasgow Kelvingrove

I am very well aware of my hon. Friend's attitude to motorways from private conversations and from an Adjournment debate. I took part in an Adjournment debate on taking a road through the Peak District National Park. My hon. Friend will realise that no decision could possibly be taken on the proposed motorway through the national park until a thorough examination had taken place. The final decision would depend on the outcome of all the statutory proceedings and the availability of funds.

Photo of Mr Peter Fry Mr Peter Fry , Wellingborough

Will the Minister point out to his hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley) that an effective road system is essential if we are to compete efficiently with continental countries, which have spent much more time and money in building up a series of communications to their ports? If we are to survive the present economic climate we shall need more expenditure on effective roads. That would be sensible expenditure for the future rather than some of the wasteful expenditure in which the Government are now indulging.

Photo of Mr Neil Carmichael Mr Neil Carmichael , Glasgow Kelvingrove

I would disagree with the suggestion that the Government are wasteful of money. I agree, however, that roads are an important part of our industrial infrastructure. As regards the particular road mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley). as I said in the Adjournment debate, if nothing is done about the existing route through the Peak District National Park there will be more and more congestion which will make the park less acceptable to more and more people.

Photo of Dr Edmund Marshall Dr Edmund Marshall , Goole

Will my hon. Friend confirm that the delayed construction of the M18 between Armthorpe and Hatfield will now begin in 1975?

Photo of Mr Neil Carmichael Mr Neil Carmichael , Glasgow Kelvingrove

I think my hon. Friend will realise that I take a great interest in the matter which he has raised, but for the moment it is a matter that has slipped my memory.